BJP and Congress ganged up, used money to defeat AAP in Goa, says Elvis Gomes
Not one of the Aam Aadmi Party’s 39 candidates in Goa won; in 30 seats AAP candidates lost their depositindia Updated: Mar 15, 2017 13:25 IST
The Aam Aadmi Party (AAP) chief ministerial candidate in the recently concluded assembly polls in Goa, Elvis Gomes, who suffered a massive defeat in the Cuncolim assembly constituency, said the Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) and the Congress party conspired for his defeat.
“They (Congress and BJP) ganged up to ensure my defeat,” Gomes told HT. The former bureaucrat, who took voluntary retirement from service after his name cropped up in a land scam to join the AAP last year, said, “In Goa, there is nothing called Congress or BJP. Here both parties follow a common minimum agenda to indulge in corruption. So it was natural that I was the common enemy.”
Congress Party’s Clefasio Dias has won the Cuncolim seat by defeating independent candidate Joaqiun Alemao by a slender margin of 33 votes while sitting BJP MLA, Rajan Naik came third.
Gomes said that though he was confident of his victory during campaigning, “the last two days before the election played the spoiler,” he added. “They (Congress, BJP and independents) started distributing money to voters. On the other hand, we went without anything, but our promises and programmes. Their money power made a dent in my votes,” he said.
Not only Gomes, but the AAP as a whole, which had fielded the maximum number of 39 candidates, failed to open account in the election. In 30 seats, its candidates lost their deposits.
Gomes however, said that the debutant party had little time to do the homework necessary for reaching out to the voters. “AAP is a relatively new party in Goa. The available time--between May 21 (when the party was launched) and October when the election dates were announced—was insufficient to complete our groundwork to capitalise on the voter’s mood. ”
He also said that the dissatisfaction in a section of party cadres over selection of candidates was also to be blamed for the party’s defeat. “In the beginning we were in a very strong position in 10 constituencies. But that did not happen as the end results showed. The disgruntlement amongst cadres is to be blamed for this,” he said.
He however, appeared unfazed about the defeat and said that the party would capitalise on the deception of the BJP and the Congress and the other parties ( who have entered into coalition with the BJP) to bounce back in future. “People are watching. Those who were fighting with each other before the election have now joined hands to form the coalition. This is what the people never voted for. Similarly, there are talks about a possible split in the Congress after their leadership failed to form government in spite of being the single largest party.”
Defeat notwithstanding, Gomes said, the AAP was able to register its “strong” presence in the state by bagging six per cent votes. “In future we are going to emerge as the only alternative to the power-lust politics in the state,” he said.